ben·​zo·​di·​az·​e·​pine | \ ˌben-zō-dī-ˈa-zə-ˌpēn \

Definition of benzodiazepine

: any of a group of aromatic lipophilic amines (such as diazepam and chlordiazepoxide) used especially as tranquilizers

Examples of benzodiazepine in a Sentence

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Although old-guard quaaludes aren't among the substances screened, the device takes aim at the class of benzodiazepines most typically slipped into drinks today—including Valium, Xanax, and Rohypnol (or roofies). Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Now, There's a Date-Rape Drug Test that Screens Your Drink in Under a Minute," 8 Sep. 2018 By the 1980s, stronger benzodiazepines (e.g. Ativan and Xanax) prescribed for anxiety disorders were also made available to help overwhelmed women. Hayley Krischer, Marie Claire, "How Heroin Came for Middle-Class Moms," 20 Aug. 2018 As a result, more people are becoming addicted to benzodiazepines and falling victim to overdose. Dennis Thompson,, "Xanax, Valium looking like America's next drug crisis," 14 Mar. 2018 According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 30% of opioid overdose cases also involve benzodiazepines. Mark Lieber, CNN, "Drop in new opioid prescriptions to benzodiazepine patients could reduce overdoses, study suggests," 13 Apr. 2018 In 2013, Gaus agreed to a reprimand, a $20,000 fine, a permanent ban from practicing in a pain management clinic, and a permanent ban from prescribing certain opioids drugs as well as a type of tranquilizer known as benzodiazepines. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "More than 200 doctors stay on Medicare rolls despite disciplinary actions," 17 May 2018 But the national research has found that fentanyl is also frequently involved in overdose deaths with non-opioid drugs such as cocaine and benzodiazepine. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "'Bodies can't take it': Fentanyl involved in nearly half of drug overdose deaths," 2 July 2018 The older benzodiazepines can also cause cognitive impairment and memory loss. Amanda Macmillan,, "Roseanne Barr Blamed Her Racist Tweet on Ambien. Here's What an Expert Thinks," 30 May 2018 Depressants like alcohol and benzodiazepines have particularly high fatality rates when mixed with opioids, as all three substances depress the central nervous system. Sarah Beller, Teen Vogue, "What You Should Know About Drug Cocktailing," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'benzodiazepine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of benzodiazepine

1934, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for benzodiazepine

benz- + di- + az- + -epine (from hepta- + -ine entry 2)

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Last Updated

20 Dec 2018

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The first known use of benzodiazepine was in 1934

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ben·​zo·​di·​az·​e·​pine | \ ˌben-zō-dī-ˈaz-ə-ˌpēn \

Medical Definition of benzodiazepine

: any of a group of aromatic lipophilic amines (as diazepam and chlordiazepoxide) used especially as tranquilizers

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to settle judicially or to act as judge

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